On 22/02/2011, at 4:39 PM, Andrew Walenstein wrote:
> This page provides Haiku versions of the DeCSS DVD decryption algorithm. The
> DeCSS code was put on t-shirts and into dramatic reading and into Haiku.
> Many people did this because the algorithm was being suppressed, and the link
> above can be seen as expression of political discourse through the use of
> programming languages.
It includes these verses:
Programmers' art as
that of natural scientists
is to be precise,
complete in every
detail of description, not
leaving things to chance.
Reader, see how yet
deserve free speech rights;
see how numbers, rules,
patterns, languages you don't
yourself speak yet,
still should in law be
protected from suppression,
called valuable speech!
This reminds us that there may be questions of law and public policy
tied up in the question of whether programming notations are 'languages'
and programs are 'speech'. The topic is neither philosophically
uninteresting, nor linguistically uninteresting, nor practically unimportant.
Oh, one other similarity between natural languages and programming notations
which belongs under 'quasi-linguistic communication systems':
- it is possible to use one of these systems to describe a
denumerable set of 'utterances' in another such system,
possibly even the same system.
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